Guilty Pleasures – Culture Club

The Guilty Pleasure series continues. Although I do enjoy most of the artists that are going to appear in this series, there are some that I really can’t stand. Today’s band falls into the latter category. That would be Culture Club. I was even going to make a sacrifice for the blog, and actually download some of their hits. But, I could not bring myself to do it! When Boy George sang the words, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”, was I the only one who screamed an angry whole-hearted “YES!!” every single time?

When Culture Club burst onto the scene in 1982 with their debut album Kissing to Be Clever, many of us asked, “Is that lead singer a guy or a girl?” It looks a lot like a girl with that hairdo and those clothes. But, if it is a girl, she is kind of freaky looking. Oh, wait, the name is Boy George, so it must be a guy. right?
Yeah, yeah, confirmed. It’s a guy.

Well, as much as I was not a fan of the group, there is no denying Culture Club’s success of the early to mid 80s. Kissing to Be Cleversold over two million copies in the US, and another four million worldwide at the time of its release.

Culture Club definitely did not suffer a sophomore slump. In 1983, Colour by Numbers was released, and it sold four million copies in the US and another five million worldwide at its time of release. The second single, “Karma Chameleon” became the band’s biggest hit as it was #1 in the UK, #1 in the U.S. for 3 weeks, and was #1 in sixteen other countries, and became one of the top twenty best-selling singles of the 80s.

After the success of Colour by Numbers, Culture Club had a nose dive. I suppose that they literally had a nose dive as Boy George became addicted to cocaine, which then led to a heroine addiction. The band eventually broke up in 1986, and Boy George pursued a solo career.

The band reunited a couple of times since. They reunited in 1998, and appeared on VH1 Storytellers. They went on a small tour, then reunited again in 2002 for their 20th anniversary. They broke up again due Boy George’s successful DJ career.

I could not even come up with a top 5 list of Culture Club songs. Here is a list of my top 4 hits:

4. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me

I really could not stand this song. But there’s no denying it’s success. It put Culture Club on the map. Ironically, it is the only Culture Club song I own right now. That is because it is on The Wedding Singer Soundtrack.

3. Church of the Poison Mind

This top 10 hit is a little more tolerable. It has a pretty cool Motown vibe. Could they be winning me over? I do love Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)“, which is very similar.

2. I’ll Tumble 4 Ya

This song is alright. It has a pretty good reggae beat. It makes me want to go on a Caribbean Cruise.

1. Karma Chameleon

This was Culture Club’s most successful song. It’s kind of a fun song. Not fun enough for me to spend $1.29 on. When I was in Junior High school, I was some place where there was a raffle for all different items. You buy a bunch of tickets, and put them in the cans in front of the items. I threw a ticket in for the 45 records of “Karma Chameleon” and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”. You can see where this is going can’t you? These 45’s were the first things I ever won in my life. Now I had something else to bring to the school dances (that I mentioned in the Air Supply article), and I didn’t need to bring AC/DC’s Back In Black anymore! And they actually played my records at the dance!

So did I offend any Culture Club fans out there? Or did they irritate you as much as they did me? I won’t stick my nose up at you if you’re a fan. They’re just not my cup of tea.

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2 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures – Culture Club”

  1. Not my favorite band, but I really liked “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.” Someone gave us the LP, so when we use the record player I will play that song a couple of times.

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